Alex Morono is finally ready to fight again.
In February, Morono suffered a 27-second TKO loss to Khaos Williams at UFC 247. After the loss, the Fortis MMA product was hoping to return soon and get the bad taste of losing out of his mouth. However, he wasn’t able to due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and then, as a gym owner, spent the next several months trying to keep his gym from closing down.
“The fight opportunities were pretty fruitful. I run a gym in Houston, Texas and it will be 14 years this month. We actually almost went out of business as after the second month of lockdown we really had to create a game plan,” Morono said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “That was my primary focus. Usually, our focus is on what more can we do for the members. We were focusing on just having the ability to do the minimum and put some safety procedures to keep the gym alive.”
Ultimately, Morono was able to keep his gym open and will now return on Saturday at UFC Vegas 14 against Rhys McKee.
For Morono, he knows McKee will be looking to get his first UFC win after being dominated by Khamzat Chimaev, except Morono believes he will just be too much for the 25-year-old.
“I’ve been in Rhys’ position. He is 26-years-old, fresh to the UFC and we are both coming off a loss,” Morono explained. “I know the fire and I know how young and hungry guys train as I’m still that guy. I watched that Khamzat fight when it happened and didn’t think much of it. He has been training hard and I am never one to underestimate anybody.
“One thing, the UFC is no place for sympathy so I will be a grizzled mean veteran in this fight and really try and hurt him, break him, and put him in spots he has never been. I have two hours in the Octagon,” he continued. “So, I will go Khabib style and drag him in the deep waters and make him drown. I know what to expect and I know it won’t be an easy fight and putting him away will be difficult.”
If Alex Morono does go out there and dominate McKee, he isn’t sure what a win does for him. Instead, at this point in his career, the 30-year-old is just focused on having fun fights and is not focused on the belt.
“This is my 11th fight in the UFC and if I was 9-1 or 8-2, I would want top-five or belt. I’ve been in the mix for a while and my goal is now to get to 20 fights in the UFC, so ideally I have 10 fights left,” Morono said. “If I make it 20 fights and I will shoot for another 10 fights. I’m on my fourth contract now and I really want to break records. I want to get finishes no one has got, I want to make a highlight reel, get some wins, make some money, and cement my legacy as a martial artist.
“My gym in Houston has been around for a while and we have a lot of students. I want them to know their coach has been through the fire and represent Fortis with big victories. My goal is not really rankings, Geoff Neal is 5-0, four finishes ranked up there. I want him to be the champion, I want to see him do that. I wouldn’t mind just sitting on the roster, beating who I can beat up, and if I can catch a streak and get into the top-10, great. If not, I am ready to have some fun. So, that is why I like this matchup with Rhys McKee as he is a striker as everyone knows my game plan as I will stand and trade,” Alex Morono concluded.
Who do you think will win, Alex Morono or Rhys McKee?